Ex-presidential aspirant Farid Khan’s daughter Raeesah Khan is expected to be among the Workers’ Party’s (WP) slate of candidates for the impending election, which will take place on 10 July.
Ms Raeesah was among 12 WP members who were featured in a teaser video entitled ‘GE2020: Coming Soon’ that the WP published moments after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that he is calling an election, yesterday afternoon (23 June).
26-year-old Ms Raeesah is a social activist and freelance digital marketing consultant. She is perhaps most well known for her work with the Reyna Movement – a non-profit organisation she founded to empower women through community engagement and upskilling programmes as well as to support refugees.
The Singaporean, who has been involved in social activism since she was 17, was featured as one of Cleo magazine’s 2019 “Changemakers” last year.
Raeesah’s father, Farid Khan, announced his intention to contest the 2017 Presidential Election which was reserved for Malay candidates. His application to run for president was rejected by the authorities on the basis that it did not meet the eligibility criteria that was amended in 2016 – the year before the election was called.
Mr Khan, who qualified to run for President under the criteria prior to 2016, was disqualified under the new stricter eligibility criteria and lost about S$200,000 in campaign marketing expenses after his failed bid to run. Ruling party MP Halimah Yacob eventually became President by walkover.
Earlier this year, Ms Raeesah was spotted with WP members handing out party leaflets at a walkabout in the Punggol region. Sources said at the time that she had been “earmarked” for candidacy.
Around the time that Ms Raeesah was seen walking the ground with the WP, the party’s chief Pritam Singh promised to field quality candidates during the impending general election. Speaking at the WP’s Members’ Forum 2020 on 19 Jan, he said:
“For the upcoming general elections, we will field candidates that the public can envision to become competent MPs and Parliamentary backbenchers and who will manage their Town Councils well. The focus will be on quality candidates from a range of backgrounds and life experiences. It is my firm belief that they will do Singapore and our people proud, in Parliament and as elected Town Councillors.”
Ms Raeesah’s appearance in the party’s latest video has given rise to speculation that she may be fielded as part of the WP’s team in the newly carved out Sengkang Group Representation Constituency (GRC).
The WP is planning to contest just four GRCs and one SMC and field a contingent of 20 candidates, according to party members who spoke to the Straits Times on condition of anonymity. The number of wards it allegedly plans to contest this time is half the number of wards it stood in during the 2015 General Election.
Insiders say that the party – which is the only opposition party which is currently elected into Parliament – will contest Aljunied GRC, East Coast GRC, Marine Parade GRC, Sengkang GRC and Hougang SMC.